Coronavirus Headlines: What to expect in Florida this week


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As the coronavirus pandemic continues, 8 is On Your Side with what you can expect this week, as phase one of Governor Ron DeSantis’ “Smart. Safe. Step-By-Step” plan for reopening the state goes into effect.


  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

Latest numbers
As of Sunday morning, there have been 36,078 positive cases of coronavirus in the state. The death toll stands at 1,379.

Reopening Florida: Phase 1 begins Monday
Most counties in the state, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Broward excluded, will enter “phase one” of reopening beginning Monday. The safer-at-home order will expire when this goes into effect. Elective surgeries will resume, restaurants can reopen at 25 percent capacity and retail stays may reopen at that capacity as well. Bars, gyms, hair salons and personal services must remain closed.

State parks
According to the Florida State Parks website, approximately 80 parks and trails throughout the state will open during phase one. Portions of the parks and trails will reopen for day-use.

Beaches to reopen
Pinellas County will reopen county-run beaches, including Clearwater Beach, as of Monday. Chairs and coolers will be allowed, but folks are still asked to practice social distancing.

Manatee County will reopen beaches as well, with a two hour parking limit.

Sarasota County beaches will also be open and allow chairs, canopies and coolers, after previously announcing beaches would be open for essential activities like running.

Malls begin to open
Several Tampa Bay area malls will reopen on Monday as well with the governor’s announcement that retail stores can operate at 25 percent capacity.

Unemployment system allegedly coming back online
After being offline for the second weekend in a row, Florida’s CONNECT unemployment system is reportedly set to go back online at 8 a.m. Monday.


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